How often should we change power steering fluid?


Mike Tonon

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How do you guys determine when to change it? The color? Mileage? Age?
 


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Dirtman

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I swap some out with a turkey baster once a year when I do my "spring maintenance" I dont flush it all, but change out about half a quart.
 

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I do it on the same schedule I do all ATF items, every 30K miles, 20-25K in hard use.
 

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When it all leaks out

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Usually between 1 and 2. Except for hydroboost systems I've never seen one take more than two.
 

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when it all leaks out.....thats way too late.



the constant whine of the oem pumps makes ya want to punch babies....change it often.
 

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Are hydroboost the post 90’s systems?
No. Hydroboost is a system that uses the power steering pump to provide power brakes instead of a vacuum booster. It was never installed on rangers.
 
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Mike Tonon

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No. Hydroboost is a system that uses the power steering pump to provide power brakes instead of a vacuum booster. It sas never installed on rangers.
Freaking adsm08, always complicating things! 😆
 

Mike Tonon

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Ok, I tried flushing mine, myself a few years ago. I took the return line off and put it to a container to catch the waste oil and plugged the hole for it in the tank. I had my dad start the engine for a few seconds while I tried to pour the new fluid in. I couldn’t keep up with how fast it pumped, but I must have poured in a couple quarts or more. But maybe a year later, a mechanic said that I needed a power steering flush. I do notice that the power steering is sometimes a little weird when cold since I flushed it. Is it possible the air I got in there caused damage?
 

adsm08

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adsm08

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Ok, I tried flushing mine, myself a few years ago. I took the return line off and put it to a container to catch the waste oil and plugged the hole for it in the tank. I had my dad start the engine for a few seconds while I tried to pour the new fluid in. I couldn’t keep up with how fast it pumped, but I must have poured in a couple quarts or more. But maybe a year later, a mechanic said that I needed a power steering flush. I do notice that the power steering is sometimes a little weird when cold since I flushed it. Is it possible the air I got in there caused damage?
It's 100% that you got air in, and ran things dry doing it that way, but the air should have purged itself by now.

The flush recommendation was probably made based on a mileage/age schedule that shop uses. I know at the last place I worked the service manager was real big on flushes and if you had a car in at a 30/60/90 mileage you were in trouble if you didn't recommend at least 2, unless it was something we just sold or a first time customer.

You don't ever want to start the engine with the PS return line off. That system can cycle a few gallons a minute and holds 1 to 1.5 quarts. If you want to try flushing it that way disable the ignition or fuel and bump the engine with the starter. The best way to do it is a pump system that you can drain the reservoir and refill with an electric pump as you go.

I like those ones, because you control how low the fluid gets. I would always suck it down until the pump started to buzz, overfill it slightly, cycle the wheel a few times, and repeat until I ran out of new fluid.
 

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There isn't a manufacturer recommendation, so I change out what is in the reservoir every three years along with the brake fluid. As long as you are changing some of it out every once in a while, I think you will be good.
 


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